The Light in Lillehammer

This is part of a series of blog posts written by the 2011 Peace Scholars, as they complete their summer program in Oslo, Norway. This post was written by Nathaniel Cook, a Peace Scholar from Concordia College.

The weather has been gorgeous and very sunny, but usually not too hot. The other day we went up to the huge ski jump (because Lillehammer hosted the ’94 winter olympics) and walked all the way down. It was kind of scary because the stairs were so steep! It was an amazing view from the top, seeing the lake, the entire town, and the mountains on the other side of the lake. It was fun.

Lillehammer ski jump

The former director of the Nansen Academy came in to talk to us about the man for which the school is named, Fridtjof Nansen, the “greatest Norwegian of the 20th century”! The man who spoke with us is like the Garrison Keillor of Norway, so he does lots of radio shows and is a Norwegian historian. He was one of the best lecturers I have ever heard! He was so engaging and made the history fascinating. He talked for an hour and a half and easily could have gone on for another hour. I’d actually like to read more about Fridtjof now.

During an extended break because of the nice weather, fellow Peace Scholar Thad Titze (Augustana College) and I walked to a public park that has a little cafe and ordered a beer and used their wifi. The beer is $12 and you get less than a pint, but you have to order something to sit there. Apparently that’s a reasonable price here… Crazy. It was a lot of fun seeing how many Norwegians spent their afternoon hours chatting in the public park, walking, and just relaxing. I feel like this rarely happens in the U.S., unfortunately.

It’s been a lot of fun meeting the people from other countries too. It has been fascinating hearing some of their stories, their history, things about their religious beliefs, etc.

Tonight is the Mid summer celebration, which is apparently a big deal is Scandinavia. So we’re going to the central area of the town for a huge bonfire/party thing as a whole group. Should be fun to see!

Nathaniel Cook, Concordia College
June 23, 2011

[photo credit: jeaneem on Flickr]

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